By Matt Leon
RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) — After holding off Immaculata last night in Radnor, 81-74, the Cabrini Cavaliers sit at 17-1 on the season, a perfect 12-0 in the Colonial States Athletic Conference, and are ranked 8th in the country in NCAA’s Division III.
Success is nothing new to Cabrini. Last season the Cavaliers advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Tournament, and they are 88-19 in Marcus Kahn’s 3½ seasons as head coach.
So how does the coach win more than 81 percent of his games?
“Well, I think it’s our players, first of all,” Kahn tells KYW Newsradio. “Obviously, we have a good group of guys that have now been with us for two or three years. We’re starting to get an older group, sophomores and juniors and even a couple of seniors, that are really leading us. And I think now there is an expectation of success. Now they’re winning — they like it and they want to keep doing it. They know we have to keep bringing the effort every day — in practice, game, doesn’t matter who we’re playing, where we’re playing. We’ve got to come ready to go. They’ve done a really good job of staying focused and keeping their eye on the goal.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Coach Marcus Kahn in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
One of those players staying focused is Cory Lemons (right), who is probably the straw the stirs the Cavaliers’ drink.
A senior guard from Wilmington, Del., Lemons had 20 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists last night. For the season he is averaging more than 17 points per game, and about six rebounds and seven assists.
Lemons gives a scouting report on what people can expect when they watch this Cavalier squad:
“We’re an up-tempo team. Coach puts us all in position to be successful. If I’m successful pushing the ball, he wants us to push the ball. We have a lot of shooters on the wings, so if you collapse on me, we kick it out to shooters. We have a well-balanced team.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Cory Lemons in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Another impressive statistic for this team deals with their home success. Cabrini is 10-0 at Nerney Field House this season, and they have won 41 straight games in CSAC play there.
Kahn says that success is no accident:
“We’re going to outwork our opponents, and no one can come into our building and outwork us here. We have to make sure that we handle our business at home. That’s one thing that the guys have really bought into – that no matter who we play here at our place, our guys are confident regardless of the situation. We’ve been down a lot — halftime, even late into the second half at home — (but) our guys just believe in winning here on our floor and not getting outworked. I think that puts a little added pressure us when we have games here, but our guys like that, and they are obviously very comfortable playing here.”
Needless to say, with this constant success, the Cavaliers don’t sneak up on anyone, and Lemons says other teams are very aware of how good Cabrini is.
“No matter who we play, I think a target is on our back, we’ve been winning so much. So every game for us is a big game, no matter who we’re playing. We never slack off, coach keeps us on target, keeps us intense in practice, and never lets us slip up,” Lemons says.
Cabrini returns to the court on Saturday afternoon when they visit Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ.